Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
a recipe for old mutton To Stewe Stekes of Mutton A Proper Newe Book of Cokerye, 1572 Take a legge of mutton and cot it in small slices, and put it in a chafer, and put therto a pottell of ale, and scome it cleane then putte therto seven or eyghte onions thyn slyced, and after they have boyled one hour, putte therto a dyshe of swete butter, and so lette them boyle tyll they be tender, and then put therto a lyttel peper and salte. The Modern Version: 2 lb leg of lamb or mutton (this recipe also works well with beef) 1 pint dark beer or ale 2 onions, thinly sliced 1 tsp salt Pepper to taste 2 Tbsp butterBone the lamb, trimming off any skin or excess fat. Cut into thin slices across the grain. Place in a heavy pan with the beer and onions, cover and simmer for an hour. Add the salt, pepper and butter and continue simmering for 30 minutes, or until tender. Though it
“LEG OF MUTTON AFTER THE LEGAT’S WAY” by François de la Verme The French Cook 1653
‘After you have chosen it well, beat it well, take off the skin and flesh of the knuckle, whereof you shall cut off the end, lard it with mean lard, flower it, and pass it in the pan with lard or fresh seam. When you see it very brown, put it in the pot with one spoonful of broth well seasoned with Salt, Pepper, Clove, and a bundle of herbs; you may put in Capers, Mushrooms, Truffles, cover it with a lid closed up with flower, neither too soft, nor too hard, allayed in water, and seeth it on a few coles the space of three hours. When it is sodden uncover it; and garnish it with what you have to put it, as Kidneys, Bottoms of Artichokes, sweetbreads, and a short sauce, and about the dish lay Lemons, or Pomegranate, Barberries and grapes.”
And for the modernized version similar to what Sam would have enjoyed…. Serves 6
“1 oz / 25 g butter1 small leg of lamb –approx 4 ½ lbs / 2kg2 tablespoons flour seasoned with salt, pepper and ground clovesA bundle of fresh herbs –bay, rosemary, parsley, etc. 8 oz / 225 g button mushrooms, cleaned and halved if they are large1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped15 fl oz / 450 ml really well flavored stock or stock and red wine combined1 oz / 25g butter6 lambs kidneys, trimmed and halved6 ozs / 150 g sweetbreads, blanched and sliced6 artichoke hearts, sliced3 ozs / 75g raspberries, loganberries or redcurrants (fresh/frozen)
Melt the butter till sizzling in a fireproof casserole. Toss the lamb in the seasoned flour and make sure it is well coated. Brown the lamb on all sides in the fat till the skin is well crisped. Tip in any flour that is over, stir well around and then add the herbs, mushrooms, capers and stock.Cover the casserole, bring to the boil and then simmer gently for approximately one hour (15 mins to the pound of lamb). When the lamb is ready, heat the butter in a shallow pan and lightly fry the kidneys and sweetbreads till they are just cooked –the kidneys should still be pink inside. Keep them warm. In the remains of the butter fry the artichoke heart slices till they are warmed through then put them to keep warm with the kidneys.Warm a serving dish. Carve the lamb and lay it out down the middle of the serving dish. Arrange the kidneys, sweetbreads and artichoke hearts around the edge of the dish. Spoon some of the sauce with some mushrooms over the lamb and put the rest in a warmed jug to be served separately. Decorate the lamb with the fruit and serve at once.”
From “Pepys At Table: Seventeenth century recipes for the modern cook”By Christopher Driver and Michelle Berriedale-Johnson
LEG OF MUTTON ...
Jeannie, thanks for the citation -- have already ordered a copy through ABE (shamless plug time.) Have you tried many of the recipies -- had the experience years ago of culinary professionals recreating a Leipsig "feast" for a Bach bash and it was near impossibe for modern constitutions to comfortably consume and digest same.
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